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empty conference room in business center there is a tv displaying some graphs and char SBI 336098149 - Business Express
Empty conference room in business center. There is a TV displaying some graphs and charts on the background

How office design can affect productivity and spark creativity

Kevin Underdown, Head of HR at PPL PRS

Office spaces have a huge impact on both the productivity and creativity of employees. In fact, research has shown that the design and layout of the work environment are crucial in sparking inspiration and this translates into quality of work. So, the experts at PPL PRS have simply explained how to utilise office design to ensure the best results for you and your team

Bright, well organised, offices which are welcoming can boost energy levels, and have an impact on the wellbeing of employees and their stress levels. When an employee’s wellbeing suffers, the organisation’s creativity does too, and people who are happier at work are more engaged, creative and have improved levels of concentration.

Use colour

Bright, lively colours like yellow and orange can have a really positive affect on employees. Research shows that colours greatly impact our mood, emotions, and productivity, but there are limits. So, try to be realistic and don’t add in too many colours. This can seem chaotic and distract employees – plus, you don’t want your office to look like a rainbow! Make sure the colours you choose blend well together and that they are balanced out with neutrals, too.


Music in the office often divides opinion, but many find it motivating and inspiring. Ultimately, it all depends on the type of music you listen to and the tasks you are trying to achieve, but there’s a lot of science to support the fact that music can really improve productivity and focus. Music also has many health benefits, and releases dopamine in the reward centre of the brain which can help to improve focus.

Not only that but having the same music playing throughout the office can bring co-workers together, sparking a conversation and improving relationships throughout the working day. Getting the whole team together to create themed playlists, for example, is a great way to get everyone involved and inspire creativity. It is also an important aspect of positive cultures that breed employee loyalty.

Lighting, temperature, and ventilation

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Good lighting conditions in an office are very important to employees. Natural light is highly beneficial in keeping workers alert, focused, and can help workers avoid headaches. That’s because fluorescent lighting flickers, and although the flicker isn’t visible to the human eye, it can cause migraines.

Having an optimum temperature and ventilation can help employees stay alert and focused, too. It’s important to have a space that people feel comfortable in and that provides a healthy environment to help staff work at their best.


The look and feel of furniture in the office can create a more relaxed and comfortable environment. Investing in furniture that not only looks good but is also ergonomic will ensure staff are sitting correctly, preventing bad backs and strain. Making sure that desk chairs are comfy and supportive is also important, but just check that they aren’t so cosy that they make your staff sleepy.


Creating space for collaborative work, as well as having private rooms for meetings is important in an office environment. Increasing opportunities for creative collaborations will enable employees to spark ideas together and encourage interaction.

Keep your office space tidy and uncluttered, as organisation throughout the business encourages individuals to do the same, which can increase productivity – tidy desk, tidy mind!

Creating an isolated area in the office where people can relax, ideally with a different tempo of music, enables them to take a quick break and refrain from sitting at their desks all day. This change of environment gives the brain and body a rest which can boost creative innovation and productivity once staff are back to work.

Investing in the overall ambiance of your office and creating workspaces which are light, bright, comfortable, and inspiring, will improve the overall mood, health, and happiness of employees, motivating them to become more productive and creative overall.

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